By George Samuel
The intrigues over who clinches the ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the September governorship election in Edo State deepened yesterday with pressure on the ruling party to disqualify the Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, from the race.
The pressure came against the backdrop of the unexplained inconsistencies in his certificates, which were among those the party displayed yesterday at its national secretariat in Abuja.
THISDAY reports that those pushing for Obaseki’s debarment told the APC leadership that given the unexplained inconsistencies in his certificates, the party would be faced with a likely repeat of its experience in Bayelsa State where it won the last November governorship election but its candidate, David Lyon, was stopped on the eve of his inauguration following a judgment of the Supreme Court that voided his election.
A five-man panel of the court, led by Justice Mary Peter-Odili, had overruled the declaration of Lyon along with his running mate, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, as winner of the governorship election.
It had upheld the November 12, 2019 judgement by Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja which had disqualified Degi-Eremienyo in the election for submitting forged certificates with multiple names to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The Supreme Court had ordered INEC to issue fresh certificates to the candidates of the party with the next highest votes and with the required constitutional spread of votes in the results of the election, which are the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Among the inconsistencies cited in Obaseki’s certificates are that his O/Level results showed that he has three credits but despite that he spent only three years to allegedly bagged a Bachelor of Arts degree in Classical Studies from the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, in 1976, without an A/Level result.
A/Levels are required for a three-year direct entry course in Nigerian universities. If you have O/Level credits in at least five subjects, then University of Ibadan and a indeed other universities required a mandatory four-year course. The question APC is dealing with include: could three O/Level credits/passes have given Obaseki admission into University of Ibadan as required by law? And if indeed, he got the admission, could he have graduated in three years instead of mandatory four years? Would APC not be facing another Bayelsa scenario when the NWC was blamed for fielding a candidate with a dubious certificate?